Starting the day fresh is the best gift we can give ourselves. If I wake up and luxuriate in staying in bed awhile, my mind will ruminate and I can touch on 25 topics. By the time my feet hit the floor I’m exhausted. It took me a long time to realize that this is not luxury and not serving me. Especially this year when almost all of my thoughts are realized by the presence of unending uncertainty.
I started a practice six months ago that helps me so much, I want to share it. It feels healing to start each day with enthusiasm and finish it with gratitude.
When waking in the morning, before my eyes open, I lay and stretch my body, taking some conscious deep breaths. I make myself aware of the moment, time and place, with a reminder that the day is yet a blank page. Beyond the probables and possibles, long sightedness and short-comings, the page is still blank. Then before getting out of bed I set a motivation or intention for the day. It may be to do just one thing at a time, rather than multi task. Put kindness in my self talk, put compassion in my actions, or be mindfully present. The intention can be anything that you think will serve you best. Then, once you have decided, and it can be something different every day, don't linger. Get up.
At night when I crawl back into bed to lay still once again, I take a few deep breaths and reflect on the day through the eyes of the intention that was set. Whatever was painted on the day's page can now be seen though the lens of that motivation. With either gratitude for the focus or gratitude for the teaching, retiring at night with gratitude is a powerful practice. Then before drifting off into dreamland, I offer a dedication that any merits of the day benefit all sentient beings.
I cannot tell you how much this practice has helped me in these strange times on the planet. Between the constant changes of governance in a pandemic, distressing political and social headlines to even knowing what is truth and what is fake news on any front. My energy tank was dangerously low and this practice reminds me to be witness to and live life without judgement and attachment to outcome.. to the best of my ability.
As far as truly knowing anything, I rest in the essence of perhaps more now than ever, and it too is a gift. As the greatest suffering occurs when we get attached to a particular outcome, the practice of letting go and being present with what is, can be our greatest allies.
What happens between rising in the morning and retreating at night is best left up to the story of perhaps. I send you this audio below of the ancient Zen Story of Perhaps.
Wishing you a week vibrancy for what unfolds upon your pages,